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BANAT vs.

COMELEC, April 21, 2009 Facts: - BANAT (Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency), in petitions for certiorari and mandamus, assails COMELEC resolution promulgated 3 August 2007. Issues Raised by BANAT: - Is the 20% allocation provided in Article VI Section 5(2) for party-list representatives mandatory or a ceiling? - Is the 3-seat limit provided in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? - Is the 2% threshold and qualifier votes prescribed also in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? Raised by BANAT, A Teacher, Abono: - Respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it promulgated Resolution No. 07-60 to implement the First Party Rule in allocation of seats to qualified party-lists. The said rule is said to a.) violate the constitutional principle of proportional representation; b.) violates provisions of RA 7941 particularly a.1) The 2-4-6 formula used in the First Party rule in allocating additional seats for the First Party violates RA 7941 in lieu of proportional representation; a.2) The use of two formulas for allocation of additional seats for the First Party and other qualifying parties violate Section 11(b) of RA 7941; a.3) The proportional relationships under the FPR are different from those required under RA 7941; - Also, violates the four inviolable paradigm of the Philippine party-list system as provided and decided in Veterans. Ruling and Ratio: - The 2% threshold is declared unconstitutional because it limits the allocation of seats to other qualified parties who garnered the minimum qualifying 2% of the votes needed. (Draeis note: To get this, you still have to review how the Court applied the formula before the 2% was removed, and after the 2% was removed.) - Major political parties are disallowed from participating in party-list elections. A reading of the Constitution and RA 7941 state that major political parties can only participate in party-list elections through their sectoral lines. These sectoral lines are made by affiliating with the underrepresented and marginalized sectors for election and political purposes. - The nominees also need not wallow in poverty, destitution and infirmity as there is no financial status required in the law. It is enough that the nominee of the party belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors. I.E, if he represents senior citizens, he must be a senior citizen; if he represents fisherfolk, he must be a fisherfolk, etc.